Multiple Mars missions are about more than just science

Published on February 18, 2021 by

NASA’s new research rover Perseverance has been heading for Mars for nearly seven months. Now it’s time for the extremely difficult landing. Since the Martian atmosphere is so thin, the rover would normally plummet to the surface — meaning it must be slowed down. The second problem: our neighboring planet is so far away that mission control on Earth needs at least 11 minutes to reach it — meaning Perseverance must touch down all by itself. The rover must perform each step flawlessly through completion, which is why NASA is calling the final stages the ‘seven minutes of terror’.

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